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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Kings

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

RAMO, CAMMALLERI LIFT FLAMES OVER KINGS

CALGARY, AB -- Karri Ramo hadn’t made a start for the Calgary Flames in over three weeks. There wasn’t an ounce of rust to be found.

Ramo made 21 saves and Mike Cammalleri scored with 23 seconds remaining to lift the Flames to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday night.

After Justin Williams ruined Ramo’s shutout bid in his first start since Nov. 8th and just his second of the month, Cammalleri put the Flames up late, taking a pass from Mikael Backlund and tucking it around Ben Scrivens to give the Flames the win.

It took the Kings over 55 minutes to get to him. Snapping Ramo’s bid with 4:33 remaining, Justin Williams zipped a shot over Ramo’s blocker to tie the game.

The goal came after Ramo continued to frustrate Kings’ shooters in the third, denying Brown with a glove save at 5:58 before kicking out Willie Mitchell’s point blast and Kyle Clifford’s whacks at the subsequent rebound four minutes later. He then stuffed Jeff Carter’s wrap-around attempt with less than six minutes remaining.

Ramo finished how he started, showing no lag after an early goal post from Carter welcomed him to Los Angeles. Ramo flashed the blocker to deny Carter near the midway mark of the period and on the Kings forward’s next shift, denied both Drew Doughty’s initial shot before making a pad save off Carter on the rebound attempt.

In all, Ramo made seven saves, including another pair off Kyle Clifford and Doughty to keep the Kings off the board through 20 minutes.

He kept them off the board through 40, too.

Ramo flashed the glove to rob Stoll just 3:34 into the frame, while Dustin Brown’s shot from below the goal line caused him to peek behind but at the goal line but managed to keep it out with 5:41 remaining.

The 27-year-old stood tall after Ladislav Smid was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding late in the stanza. Just 17 seconds into the Los Angeles power play, Ramo denied Carter on the doorstep and followed it up by turning aside Anze Kopitar’s snap shot.

Though shorthanded, the Flames were the ones to get on the board in the special teams situation with Paul Byron and Blair Jones connecting with 4:10 remaining. Scrivens went out to play TJ Brodie’s dump but stumbled as the puck reached him, allowing Byron to swoop in and set up his former Abbotsford Heat teammate to put Calgary up 1-0.

Still with plenty of power play time remaining, the Kings were again kept at bay by Ramo, who turned aside Tyler Toffoli’s attempt in tight before belting out Slava Voynov’s one-timer in the slot with just 1:35 remaining to kill off the major.

After killing off the balance of an elbowing penalty from Shane O’Brien that carried over into the third, the Flames successfully kept the Kings off the board for seven consecutive minutes with the man advantage.

GOAL OF THE GAME

Killing off Smid’s boarding major, Scrivens misplayed the puck in his own end. Byron zipped in and centered a feed to Blair Jones in the slot, who slid his second of the season into the empty net to put the Flames up 1-0 with just 4:10 remaining in the second period.

SAVE OF THE GAME

After robbing Doughty in the slot, Ramo flashed the pad to deny Carter’s rebound opportunity near the midway mark of the first period.

TURNING POINT

Cammalleri’s winner with 23 seconds remaining left little time for the Kings to rebound.

STAT OF THE GAME

Brodie, who had an assist on the night, played a career-high 29:44 against the Kings.

LINEUP NOTES

Christopher Breen and Sven Baertschi were scratched against the Ducks. Mark Giordano (broken ankle), Curtis Glencross (knee), TJ Galardi (back), Dennis Wideman (hand) and Sean Monahan (foot) all missed the game due to injury.

COMING UP

The Flames return to Scotiabank Saddledome to open a two-game set against the Phoenix Coyotes (8 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before welcoming the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m. MT, SNET-W).

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